LONDON (AP) - The Americans lived up to the hype and then some, winning their first Olympic gold medal in women's gymnastics since 1996.
Won it in a rout, too. Their score of 183.596 Tuesday night was a whopping five points ahead of Russia. Romania won the bronze medal.
The Americans, who include McKayla Maroney of Long Beach, Calif., and Kyla Ross, Aliso Viejo, Calif., had come into the last two Olympics as world champions, only to leave without a gold. But this team is the strongest, top to bottom, the Americans have ever had, and the rest of the world never stood a chance. The U.S. opened with a barrage of booming vaults, held its own on uneven bars and pulled away on balance beam.
By the the time they got to floor exercise, the Russians were in tears on the sidelines, and the Americans turned the final event into a victory party.